Amotivation syndrome after marijuana is one of two myths about the herb that have been repeated for years, right after the "gateway theory" that says it is a prelude to heavy stimulants. Researchers at the University of Cambrige decided to explore the topic further. To do so, they conducted a study, the results of which were published in late August this year. Here are what conclusions the researchers reached.
Amotivation syndrome after marijuana is a myth, Cambrige researchers confirm
Amotivation syndrome is defined as a "disorder of the will." It manifests itself in the difficulty or inability to make decisions, to act especially to set goals and achieve them."
Psychiatrists and all sorts of pseudo addiction specialists have been repeating like a mantra for decades that marijuana use will sooner or later, in the vast majority of cases, lead to amotivational syndrome.
What a huge lie this is is known to every regular cannabis user, and there are about two million of them in Poland alone. It is a myth repeated by pseudo addiction specialists who know stimulants only from descriptions in books. Not knowing why, they are very eager to use this lie.
This is how Monar, for example, operates. This institution publishes texts with titles such as "objectively about cannabis" or "truth and myths about cannabis", unfortunately the materials are neither objective nor have anything to do with the truth and should be treated as myths. From Monar's "objective" texts about cannabis, we learn that most consumers of the herb will destroy their lives, reach for heavy and debilitating drugs, and above all - lose the desire to do anything not related to stimulants (amotivation syndrome).
In this way, among others, Monar leads to harmful misinformation and many tragedies every year.
I personally know of cases in which an elderly person (range 50 - 65 years old) did not take the recommended treatment with medical marijuana for fear of becoming addicted, losing the will to live (the aforementioned amotivation syndrome). According to them, marijuana is a horrible drug, because that's the message they've been hearing for years from organizations like Monar, which have a real impact on attitudes toward marijuana among some Poles. Most of the public treats the words of an addiction therapist as revealed truth, which is not discussed. And it should be.
Parents whose kids reach for marijuana, instead of approaching the matter rationally - panic making often bad decisions because their child, in their view, has just embarked on a path that is bound to end in heroin (gateway theory). After all, that's what the Monar "experts" who know about it claim.
Well, no, they don't know and they are lying through their teeth!
The nonsense of the "gateway theory," saying that marijuana is a prelude to other drugs, was debunked by scientists nearly a decade ago.
Now, however, Cambrige scientists have scientifically debunked the myth of the alleged "amotivation syndrome."
"Cannabis use can be associated with anhedonia and apathy. However, previous studies have shown different results, and few have examined the link between cannabis use and specific subprocesses of reward(reward center - ed.). Adolescents may be more susceptible to the harmful effects of cannabis than adults. This study examined (1) the association between non-acute cannabis use and apathy, anhedonia, pleasure, and effort-based reward decision-making (again, reward center - ed.), and (2) whether these associations were moderated by age group."
-reads the introductory description of the study's findings.
Methodology of the study
"We used data from the "CannTeen" study. Participants were 274 adults (26-29 years old) and adolescents (16-17 years old) cannabis users (use 1-7 days per week in the past three months) and gender- and age-matched controls. Anhedonia was measured using the Snaith-Hamilton Pleasure Scale ( n =274), and apathy was measured using the Apathy Rating Scale ( n =215). Effort-based reward decision-making was measured using the Physical Effort task ( n =139), and subjective desire for and liking of rewards was measured using the new True Reward Pleasure task ( n =137)."
Control subjects had higher levels of anhedonia than cannabis users ( F 1258 =5.35, p = 0.02, η p 2 = 0.02). There were no other significant user-group or no significant user-group*age-group interaction effects. The null results were supported by Bayesian post hoc analyses .
Specifically, the group that did not use weed had slightly worse results than the group that used marijuana.
Conclusions - amotivation syndrome after marijuana is a myth
"The results of the study suggest that cannabis use at a frequency of three to four days per week is not associated with apathy or effort-based decision-making for reward, reward desire or reward liking in adult or adolescent users. Marijuana users had lower anhedonia than controls, albeit with a small effect size. These findings are not consistent with the hypothesis that vague cannabis is associated with amotivation."
This means exactly that cannabis smokers take on life's tasks just as well as non-users of weed. They are able to take cannabis after which they undertake a variety of activities in order to achieve a set goal and thus activate the reward center (success).
It is important to note that the results refer to "non-acute" use, i.e. they do not refer to abuse and the resulting harmful use. It should be categorically emphasized that marijuana use can carry negative consequences. Especially abuse and putting cannabis before other activities. It is important that marijuana is not the only pleasure in life. Relationships, passions, physical activity, responsibilities - these should always come before weed.
Every user of weed should evaluate whether it negatively affects his life, this is called conscious use.
You can find the results of the study in T U T A J.